No curfew changes expected but you can't buy alcohol for off-site consumption over Easter, govt recommends

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President Cyril Ramaphosa. (GCIS)
President Cyril Ramaphosa. (GCIS)
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa has met with premiers to decide on Easter weekend restrictions.
  • The country is currently under Alert Level 1 lockdown.
  • There are fears of a third wave of Covid-19 infections after the Easter long weekend. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa met with the Presidential Coordinating Council (PCC) on Tuesday to decide on Covid-19 regulations ahead of the Easter long weekend.

The PCC includes the nine premiers, health MECs and disaster management authorities.

Scientists and government officials have warned of a third wave of coronavirus infections, possibly soon after the Easter long weekend.

However, News24 understands the meeting, which lasted just more than an hour, proposed that all regulations currently in place should remain the same, saying the country should not be moved to Alert Level 2.

Sources within the PCC told News24 the government was proposing that religious gatherings be permitted, but only 250 people should be allowed indoors and 500 people outdoors.

The decision is, however, subject to venue size.

Smaller venues should only accommodate half the platform. Worshippers should also avoid movement and crowding, the source said.

Sources in the inner circles of the council said the government is recommending that the sale of alcohol for off-site consumption should not be permitted from Friday to Monday.

READ HERE | As Easter weekend nears, Ramaphosa says: 'Threat of a third wave is real and ever-present'

Still, on-site consumption should be allowed until 23:00. The curfew should remain as is from midnight to 04:00.

Beaches, parks and recreation centres will remain open but there should be strict monitoring of physical distancing.

It will include the wearing of masks and there should be no loud music. Government has also recommended that restaurants, bars and shebeens should remain open.

READ | 'People will not stop Easter events', despite government’s looming threat of restrictions

Only 250 people should be allowed indoors, keeping a 1.5m distance. Other gatherings that include social and political events should also be permitted. Only 250 people should be allowed inside venues and 500 outside at a 1.5m distance.

The maximum number of people who may attend funerals is 100 for a two-hour service.

The meeting also acknowledged that inter-provincial travel is a significant contributor to the spread of the virus, but the government recommends that it be allowed with protocols in place.

It is expected that the president will now turn to his Cabinet with the Covid-19 proposal before making an official announcement.


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